What is laughter therapy? (Thursday’s practice)

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Laughter therapy as conceived, designed, and delivered by World Laughter Tour, is an enjoyable mind-body-spirit process of systematic exposure to the natural phenomenon of true mirthful laughter, playfulness, and healthy attitudes. All of this happens in an environment that supports shifts in outlook bringing positive results of health, happiness, resilience, peace, and thriving. It makes life more workable, and work more livable,

Here’s Thursday’s practice.

Start on the path of GOOD-HEARTED LIVING by practicing KINDNESS 3 times on THURSDAYS. Think: “What is something I can do right now to make another person’s life a bit easier?” Kindness does not have to be elaborate or expensive or time-consuming. Hold the door open for somebody, offer to carry a package for them, bring them a hot meal, put some change into an expired parking meter. Listen: All About Kindness (song for kids about doing good deeds). 

Give freely. The gist of this practice is giving something of yourself with no expectation of repayment (think: SERVICE). A gift given with expectations of any kind of payback isn’t a gift at all; it it a contract that only the giver knows about it, and it confuses and complicates relationships.

Human beings are healthier when we think kind thoughts, do kind deeds, and yes, even when we witness kindness. James Fowler, professor of medical genetics and political science at the University of California, San Diego says that recipients of kindness generally want to keep paying it forward. In fact, in one of Fowler’s studies, he found that a single act of kindness typically inspired several more acts of generosity. The scientific name for this chain of altruism is “upstream reciprocity,” but you can think of it as a domino effect of warm and fuzzy feelings. Watch Sesame Street “Try a Little Kindness”.Start with any of the six practices and do them repeatedly. Chances are that the positive results you get will have you wanting to do more. Your mindfulness of the practices will grow into thoughtfulness. Soon, you will have internalized all six practices so that they will feel like your natural way of being in the world, and you will be doing any & all  of them every day, as often as the opportunities present themselves.

A summary of all 6 practices of Good-Hearted Living is available free in dozens of languages at the World Laughter Tour website. Resilience and thriving through learned optimism is enabled when laughter and humor are used together with Good-Hearted Living. Join the thousands of professionals and lay persons who have learned all this and more in our laughter therapy course, “How to Create Therapeutic Laughter.”

And, by the way, if you can maintain your sense of the cosmic joke, too, all the better.